Measuring Sales Performance

It is imperative that we measure all aspects of sales and more importantly, our sales people’s performance so they can truly understand their job, and stay consciously competent. Measuring Sales performance should not be used as a basis for punishing people; it should be used as a way to recognize and improve performance. In addition, it gives sales management a basis for positively reinforcing the behaviour they expect and achieve from each person on the sales team. When our sales people are not effectively and transparently measured, we in management fail.

Inspect What You Expect

The key matrix for measuring sales performance then to be:

  • Revenue generation
  • Goal/plan attainment
  • Opportunity management
  • Conversion rate
  • Sales cycle time
  • Contribution margin

The frequency that such data is reviewed by e.g. the sales manager or the company’s management may vary from weekly to monthly to quarterly and of course, annually. However, when you structure your sales data, you will end up typically with more than 10k data points available and then drill down into details. Overall, today’s CRM technology provides such data and naturally, it gets extensively used.  The problem is that we tend to believe in our data and not in our people.

Garbage in – Garbage out

Recent research by CSO Insights found that only 25% of companies surveyed are highly confident in the data available from their CRM system. This is in stark contrast 85% of world class. The result is a lack of confidence in the data within the CRM.

Why is world class so far apart from the rest? The answers lies in a dynamic fully understood and always used sales methodology around all recorded opportunities which drive the weekly, monthly, and quarterly sales forecast. The funnel integrity and forecast accuracy are a reflection of the process maturity of world class sales organizations and of the sales management culture creating the forecast. Funnel integrity must be high before powerful analytics can be leveraged to create deeper views of the data.

Establishing Metrics Standards and using Benchmarks

Another step in the sales performance management cycle is to communicate and review the standards of quality that are expected in the organization.

Opportunity data with the CRM connect sales cycle length for e.g. lead generation and qualification, account strategy and messaging, as well as sales call strategies such as obtaining action commitments from customers and achieving opportunity milestone conversions. Data points for time spent in each sales phase and conversion rate by sales phase and opportunity type provide true facts to replace perceptions.

Seller’s time is a fixed sales resource. Therefore, the only reliable way to increase their productivity is to help them decrease the amount of time (versus duration) they require moving customers through their buying process and remove all non-value added administrative burden.  We need to watch best practices correlating behaviours to success and establish a strong coaching culture for continuous improvement.  CSO Insights found that formal coaching can improve the win rate of forecasted deals by up to 9%.

ProAptivity deliver CRM solutions, which assist organisations in measuring sales performance. ProAptivity supports the deployment of CRM through the delivery of best in class sales training. To find out more, contact us on 028 9099 6388 or email

Source: MHI Global

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